2 Kings 1:1-18 (Part 2) – Watching Those Whose Walk Matches Their Talk

Posted: April 2, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

2 Kings 1:1-18 (Part 2 of 2)

Elijah Confronts King Ahaziah

Here, recently, I have been reflecting on the wonderful people that have crossed our path in the last 15 months of living here in the Quad Cities and working at Calvary Church. There are just some amazing people that I have met and become friends with here in a very short period of time. People that I have grown to respect and value. So often today, people seek out church for what personal needs that the church can meet for them. However, in every church, there is always that core of people who “get it” – meaning that they understand that being a Christ follower is about serving others as Christ would have served them, they have those humble servant hearts, they are willing to make any sacrifice to further the cause of Christ through their local church, they are generous. Calvary Church is no different. Calvary has a large core of these sold-out, whatever-it-takes Christ followers.

These friends that I have made are those that see their relationship with Jesus Christ and their local church as the top priority in their lives. Church is not just something that you do on Sunday to make you feel good for the coming week to them. They serve the church quietly and unassumingly most of the time. Sometimes they are forced into the spotlight but they are uncomfortable there. They serve when no one is looking. They give generously without expectation of a pat on the back for it. They simply live out the life that Christ called us to live. They care. They share the gospel with people without fear. They walk the walk in addition to talking the talk. Even though I am a pastor now and having been a Christ follower for many years now, there are still people that you meet that you just go, “Wow!”, after having been friends with them for a while. There are those who you observe and think that now there is a model of Christian living right there. Those are the intersections in our lives that you just thank God for having orchestrated. You stand in awe of a God who brings about these intersections into your life so that you can watch and observe some mighty men and women of God. Watching those who not only talk the talk but actually walk the walk day by day.

That’s the thing that I thought of this morning. That came about by really thinking about that third captain in this passage. The first two captains were not very genuine in their respect for Elijah or for God. However, the third captain actually seemed genuine and the walk matched the talk. With that question in mind, let’s read the passage now:

1 After King Ahab’s death, the land of Moab rebelled against Israel.

2 One day Israel’s new king, Ahaziah, fell through the latticework of an upper room at his palace in Samaria and was seriously injured. So he sent messengers to the temple of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether he would recover.

3 But the angel of the Lord told Elijah, who was from Tishbe, “Go and confront the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is there no God in Israel? Why are you going to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether the king will recover? 4 Now, therefore, this is what the Lord says: You will never leave the bed you are lying on; you will surely die.’” So Elijah went to deliver the message.

5 When the messengers returned to the king, he asked them, “Why have you returned so soon?”

6 They replied, “A man came up to us and told us to go back to the king and give him this message. ‘This is what the Lord says: Is there no God in Israel? Why are you sending men to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether you will recover? Therefore, because you have done this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on; you will surely die.’”

7 “What sort of man was he?” the king demanded. “What did he look like?”

8 They replied, “He was a hairy man,[a] and he wore a leather belt around his waist.”

“Elijah from Tishbe!” the king exclaimed.

9 Then he sent an army captain with fifty soldiers to arrest him. They found him sitting on top of a hill. The captain said to him, “Man of God, the king has commanded you to come down with us.”

10 But Elijah replied to the captain, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and destroy you and your fifty men!” Then fire fell from heaven and killed them all.

11 So the king sent another captain with fifty men. The captain said to him, “Man of God, the king demands that you come down at once.”

12 Elijah replied, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and destroy you and your fifty men!” And again the fire of God fell from heaven and killed them all.

13 Once more the king sent a third captain with fifty men. But this time the captain went up the hill and fell to his knees before Elijah. He pleaded with him, “O man of God, please spare my life and the lives of these, your fifty servants. 14 See how the fire from heaven came down and destroyed the first two groups. But now please spare my life!”

15 Then the angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down with him, and don’t be afraid of him.” So Elijah got up and went with him to the king.

16 And Elijah said to the king, “This is what the Lord says: Why did you send messengers to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether you will recover? Is there no God in Israel to answer your question? Therefore, because you have done this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on; you will surely die.”

17 So Ahaziah died, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah. Since Ahaziah did not have a son to succeed him, his brother Joram[b] became the next king. This took place in the second year of the reign of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.

18 The rest of the events in Ahaziah’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel.

Here in this passage, we should notice how the third captain went to Elijah. Although the first two captains called Elijah “man of God”, they were not being genuine – God was not in their hearts. The third captain also called him “man of God”, but he humbly begged for mercy. His attitude showed respect for God and God spared the lives of him and his men. Effective living begins with a right attitude toward God. When our heart is submitted to the Lord and stands in awe of His majesty and wonder, then our actions will reflect our heart – respect, humility, and servanthood will characterize our attitude toward God and others.

Let us as Christ followers always seek out those true men and women of God. All of us no matter how long we have been Christ followers need discipling. Thus, we always need to be on the look out for those that are more mature and wise in Christ than ourselves. Let us befriend those wise men and women and watch them live their lives. Let us pick their brains for their Christian wisdom. Let soak in and implement what they have to say. We never have it made as Christ followers. We are flesh while we are on this earth and there are things that we can learn from those who are steps ahead of us in spiritual maturity. Help us to humbly realize that we always will have things to learn as we continue to mature in Christ until that day we are perfected in heaven. Help us oh Lord to soak up the wisdom of the wise so that we can learn to be more like you. Help us to watch and observe those whose walk with you matches their talk about you.

Amen and Amen.

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